We’ve got a new web series kicking off, packed full of top marketing & strategy tips, plus practical, actionable activities to help boost your business – things we thought would be particularly helpful in the current climate!
First up: Nail Your Niche – Top 3 Steps to Business Growth. Join MD Sarah as she discusses the foundations of an effective marketing strategy, what it really means to find your business niche & how to turn your individual superpowers into business growth… yes you’re a superhero, didn’t you know?
As a small business ourselves, we know how tough it can be out there at the best of times, & for many businesses, 2020 is far from those times! So please, take some of what we’ve learned over the years & apply it to your business, share this with your friends who could use the advice – together we’ll get through this!
Scroll down for the transcript if you prefer to read rather than watch.
We’ll have a new episode each week, which will appear here & on our YouTube channel (if you subscribe there you won’t miss one).
Got questions about anything in the video? Drop us a line or give us a call at Fastnet HQ.
So you think your brand should be targeting a niche but you just don’t know where to start.
By the end of this video, you’ll understand exactly what niching is, how you can niche down your business, and what your perfect customer looks like.
And trust me when I say that this is gonna be one of the best things you can do to build your brand and blow up your business.
So for the best advice on how to grow your brand quickly, subscribe to our videos, and hit the bell as well, and that means that you’ll get notified every Thursday when I post a new video.
So I’m Sarah, founder of The Fastnet Agency, and we do this exercise with loads of our clients… It’s the really key thing as to how to niche down your business and how to find your target market.
So trust me when I say I’ve done this for lots of people before, we’ve done it really successfully, but now it’s your turn, so let’s dive in.
First up, let’s just clarify ‘what exactly is a niche?’
Well a niche is really just a very narrow area that your business focuses on, and because it’s a very narrow area it means that other people that are interested in that area could be really easily targeted, and when you write messaging, you can write messaging specifically for them, because you understand that niche and you understand your customer.
Now a lot of people take their niche to broad, they think they’ve got a niche but actually, they haven’t, because they’re far too wide.
So an example of this is I was speaking to a client the other day and I said to him ‘What’s your niche?’ and he said ‘Well, we sell clothing, outdoor clothing, outdoor apparel, that’s our niche’ and I was like ‘Well, it’s not really a niche, it’s a product, it’s a service, it’s an industry, you’re focused on a specific industry, but it’s not a niche, you’re not niching your area to only appeal to certain people.’
So when we had a bit of a chat about this, what he wanted to be able to do is sell stylish apparel to younger people who wanted to be Instagrammable, you know, when they’re outdoors, you know they want clothing that fits well, so it’s not baggy and shapeless. They wanted the clothing that, you know, looked great in photos, that may be different colours and designs.
But fundamentally, you know, it needed to be clothing that worked outdoors. It needed to do a job, it needed to be good. And that is a really strong niche.
Because suddenly then we can start to look at well exactly who is that target market? Who are we aiming for? What sort of products do they need? How can we develop this around that?
So that was a really good example of assuming a niche that was too big, really, and narrowing it down into something much more specific, which is much easier to market to.
If you haven’t got a niche already, how do you go about finding your niche?
Now you can do this if you’ve got an existing business, you can do this if you got new business.. it’s a really good exercise to do.
So, first thing I want you to do is to try and look at your superpower. What is your superpower?
Now I know everybody turns around and says, ‘Hang on a minute, I haven’t got a superpower Sarah’, but actually everybody’s got something that they… first of all, are reasonably good at, and secondly, they’re reasonably passionate about, and those are the two things that you need for your for your niche.
You need a degree of knowledge, or at least the idea of being able to get that knowledge. And you need to be passionate about it. Because in the end, if you’re not passionate about it, you’re never gonna build a strong brand.
Because brand is all about your passion for your business and getting people to buy into that.
That is what makes a strong brand. So what I always advise my clients to do, and what I do as part of workshops with my clients is we have two columns.
We have the column which is ‘What is my knowledge base?’
What do I know more about than your average person? Doesn’t mean to say you need to be an expert on it because, let’s face it, who is an expert?
There’s always somebody that knows more than you. It just needs to be something that you think well actually, compared to the average man on the street, I’ve got a pretty good knowledge base of this. And the second thing that you need to have is, like I say, passion.
So when you write down this list, look at what falls into both your knowledge base and your passion base, and those things are the things that you want to consider for your niche.
But before you really drill down into that, before you really make your final decision, we need to go through Step 2.
So if you’ve got a number of things that you think, right ok, any of these three or four or five things could potentially be my niche.
Then put those to one side and move on to looking at your customer avatar first, because you’ll need to work between the two.
So that leaves us really nicely on to Step 2 which is your Customer Avatar.
Now, this is also sometimes called a customer profile, it doesn’t really matter, it’s the same thing, but the idea is to really get a very clear picture of exactly who your customer is.
Now, people can get very confused with this. Sometimes they think what I’m talking about when I talk about a customer avatar or a customer profile is they think I’m talking about demographics, so my customers are generally between this age and this age… and they live in this region, and they have this sort of, you know, lifestyle whatever that might be… They earn this amount of money… that is not a customer profile or a customer avatar, that is a demographic of your customers.
A customer avatar is much more specific than that. It is really thinking about one particular customer and thinking very specifically about both their goals, and their pain points. So that’s the first thing I want you to do.
If you’ve got an existing business, or, you’ve worked with businesses in your niche in the past, I want you to think about a specific customer or somebody that you think could potentially become your customer at a later stage.
And I want you to think about what they are hoping to achieve exactly what their goals are, where they want to be going in the future, in terms of your product or service. And I also want you to think about exactly what their pain points are. What are they struggling with? What are the hurdles they’re trying to overcome? What can they not solve for themselves that you could help them with?
And solving a problem is one of the best things that you can do in terms of messaging for your marketing. So using our outdoor apparel example, having narrowed our niche down to young people that want to be Instagrammable in photos, but still have great outdoor wear that keeps them warm and dry in the mountains and on the slopes…
You know their problem is potentially going to be, you know, there’s other brands out there that do the job, but, you know, they’re a bit baggy, they’re a bit shapeless, they’re dull, they don’t look good in photos, and then, you know, you’ve got the trendy stuff which actually doesn’t do the job, it doesn’t keep them dry, it doesn’t keep them warm.
So that’s their problem. And their goal is to be able to enjoy the outdoors, get out there on the slopes and the mountains and take some great pictures of them, and show themselves out there, enjoying all of this stuff, looking really stylish, and then be able to go to the pub at the end of it, and have some of their outdoor apparel on and still look really cool.
So, you know, that would be a really good example of yeah, a goal and a pain point related to that customer. And the more you can understand this, the more you can dig into it and ask people, you know, don’t just assume for yourself, ask people what their problems are, and their pain points are, and what their goals are.
The more you can get into this, the better your customer avatar will be.
Now this also relates back, as I said earlier, to working out your niche in the first place, because part of really defining your niche is working out a pain point.
So if you’ve got four or five things on that list of things that you think you could potentially niche in to, start working on customer avatars for each, and if you can define a really, really strong pain point for your customer avatar, well, that’s probably the niche you need to aim at, because you know that there’s a problem there that you can potentially solve, and that you’ll have really strong messaging around that niche for your customers.
So hence I said, use the two in tandem if you’re undecided.
So at this point I’d just love to hear if you’ve ever done this exercise in the past, or if you’re working through it now, or you work through it a bit later on today, I’d love to hear your experience of it, so please pop us a message below in the comments box.
If you’ve got any questions, I’m very happy to give you feedback, so, yeah, I’d love to hear from you, so let me know how you getting on with this.
Now you’ve identified your niche and you’ve got your persona sewn up, or it might be more than one persona, I hasten to add, you don’t have to have just the one, you might have several different types of customer with several different types of personas, but hopefully you’ve got that nailed now.
So the final thing you have to really think about where niching down and developing your target market is about exactly that, targeting.
Now targeting is really important when it comes to actually the more hands-on stuff of building out your marketing campaign because without effective targeting your marketing campaign just won’t work.
So I want you to think about, when we’re looking at this customer profile, start to dig a little bit deeper. So I want to know, really the ins and outs of what it is that this person does on a day to day basis. You know, where do they eat? Where do they drink? What shops do they use? What do they read? What sort of programmes do they watch? What social media channels are they using? When they use those social media channels, what are they doing? Do they follow groups? You know, are they active in Stories? Are they watching Reels? You know, try to think about what this customer does. And a key point is try to work out where your customer finds their information.
So if they’ve got a problem with something in your sector, would they Google it? Would they ask their friends? Would they reach out to a Facebook group? for example, where are they trying to solve their problems, and how can you tap into that?
So I want you to really think about this, and I’ve actually included in the description box down below, I’ve got a worksheet, which works you through all of this, from your, you know, niching down, to your customer profiling to your targeting.
So it just guides you through the full process, so I really advise you to download that now, and just work through this exercise because once we’ve got your targeting there, that opens up a whole load of doors in terms of where you can market. So if we know what they’re reading, you can look at doing, you know, PR, what magazines and newspapers are you going to be featured in.
If we know exactly what their interests are, then we can target them with some very specific Facebook advertising and Google Advertising, and we can also start to push out messaging, obviously, that taps into what it is that your customer is interested in.
So targeting is such a key thing. But make sure you’ve done the other two exercises first, because it will make sure that your targeting exercise is so much more structured ,once you know exactly what your niche is and exactly who your customer is.
So that’s it! Now you know my top three steps for nailing your target customer and identifying your niche. I really hope you found it helpful. I’d love to hear your comments in the feedback below, so drop us a message.
And if you’ve got any questions, I’m very happy to answer them. If you found this video useful, then hit the subscribe button and ring the bell as well. to make sure that you’re notified every time a new video comes out – I’m going to be posting a video every Thursday, so we look forward to seeing you, then.